This is the closest thing I have tasted to what I remember Sobranie tasting like in the 70s . All the new Sobranie blends are quite different as I remember this blend this is very close. Bulk house blend from Wilkie. John says its one of their oldest house blends. Bag note is Latakia, woodsy and a bit spicy. This is a strong blend and its tricky to start. It starts very harsh if you puff hard at all. It needs to be gently puffed at the start. If you put your pipe down after the first 4 puffs and let it sit for a minute it will give you a wonderful surprise. It mellows right out. I call it a dragster getting started down the track all smoke heat and fire to start, but if you can get past the fist bit it straightens right out. It is rich and smooth and all the flavors come together perfectly. Clean ash at the finish. Highly recommended. All day smoke I buy 8 OZ at a time
The musty, salty, sweet Cyprian Latakia provides a wealth of smoke, wood, earth, floralness, and some sourness along with a little spice as the lead component. In an important, competitive support role is the very earthy, woody, floral, vegetative, herbal, moderately buttery sweet and tangy sour, spicy Turkish. The Turkish prevents this blend from being a full fledged Lat-bomb, though it’s very close to being one. Both varietals reduce the grassy, tart and tangy, bready, sugary, vegetative, mildly floral, slightly spicy Virginia to a condiment. The strength and nic-hit are strong. Has a full taste level. No chance of bite or harshness, but it does have a few rough edges. Deeply rich, it burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a very consistent zesty sweet and sour, spicy, floral, potently savory campfire flavor that extends to the pleasantly long lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a very pungent room note. Not an all day smoke. Four stars.
Wonderfully fragrant. Neither sweet (no burley) nor sour, with a very satisfying balance of VAs and Orientals, and the latakia is not lightly applied. I have left the tobacco in its plastic pouch for the time being, only because the leathery redolence permeates the air and it is absolutely intoxicating. After smoking English/Balkans for 50 years, this is the aroma that defines tobacco for me. Don't miss this one.
As a full and rich evening smoke this is like a smoother and better balanced Nightcap. I don’t see the comparisons with BSOSM – for that I suggest Dan London – but whatever your comparison, I think we could all agree this is top-caliber blend. I do also recommend the advice given by somebody else here, that you do a charring light with a few puffs, tamp, and let it sit for a couple of minutes before resuming your session. There is just a bit of roughness upon first light that totally disappears once a steady burn rate has been established.
There is a savory, meaty brown gravy flavor, similar to what I noted in my review of El Rincon, but I can’t identify the distinct ingredient (or additive) as anything I’ve used in my own processing of natural leaf. In any case, unlike in the other blend, in this case I find it a positive contribution to the overall blend, which also has some toasted poppy seed and celery salt.
Although I still slightly prefer No. 400, this is a rich and savory blend that I will be re-ordering in quantity, as I have feeling it will age nicely.
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